Contamination of soil with hydrocarbons occurs frequently when petroleum ducts are damaged. Restoration of those contaminated soils might be achieved by applying readily available organic material. An uncontaminated clayey soil sampled in the vicinity of a duct carrying diesel which ruptured recently, was contaminated in the laboratory and amended with or without maize or biosolids while production of carbon dioxide (CO2), dynamics of ammonia (NH4+), nitrates (NO3-), and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were monitored. The fastest mineralization of diesel, as witnessed by production of CO2, was found when biosolids were added, but the amount mineralized after 100 days, approximately 88%, was similar in all treatments. Approximately 5 mg of the 48 mg TPH kg-1 found in the sterilized soil at the beginning of the experiment could not be accounted for after 100 days. The concentration of TPH in the unsterilized soil decreased rapidly in all treatments, but the rate of decrease was different between the treatments. The fastest decrease was found in the soil amended with biosolids and approximately 30 mg TPH kg-1 or 60% could not be accounted for within 7 days. The decrease in concentration of TPH at the onset of the incubation was similar in the other treatments. After 100 days, the concentration of TPH was similar in all soils and appear to stabilize at 19 mg TPH kg-1 soil. It was concluded that biosolids accelerated the decomposition of diesel and TPH due to its large nutrient content, but after 100 days the amount of diesel mineralized and the residual concentration of TPH was not affected by the treatment applied. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.